Ethical Whistleblowing Guidelines
If you have reason to believe that a co-worker, superior, or the company you work for is doing something illegal, the first thing you should do is review your company's policy on how to report a violation. Every company is different and therefore, there will be different methods with which you need to report your suspicions.
If you have followed the policies set forth by your company and yet action has not been taken, you may need to go to get outside help. The National Whistleblowers Center is a good place to start. The center was started in 1988, providing help for whistleblowers who want to expose wrongdoing in their company. The NWC has done much to protect whistleblowers, including working with Congress to get many whistleblowing protection laws passed - the No-Fear Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Corporate Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Civil Rights Tax Relief Act.
The group provides a confidential report that someone can submit, as well as offering confidential attorneys to speak with in regards to exposing misconduct on their website. There is also a listing of some of the rights that whistleblowers have in terms of reporting misconduct. Again, each state is different with their laws, so it is important that a person understand how his or her state and city handles acts of whistleblowing.
Ethical whistleblowing guidelines have come a long way since the first person who stood up and stated that their company was doing something wrong. While there are now laws that will protect a whistleblower, the system is still changing and becoming better at protecting those who are trying to protect others.